As May 1st fast approaches, and horse racing and the headwear industry gears up for another exciting derby season, I can’t help but wonder: what new trends will emerge from this year’s Derby series? Nowadays it is difficult to open a fashion magazine or turn on an awards show and not see an A-list actor or actress pushing the envelope with some type of new, cutting edge chapeau, but the Derby is where this tradition all started. Chances are the Derby might have been the originator of that stylish topper.
If you don’t think that the derby events have as much to do about celebrity, fashion, and emerging trends, don’t take my word for it. Even the Kentucky Derby’s own official website shows as many hats on its home page as they do horses. There is no doubt that the stars seated on Millionaire’s Row wearing their lavish hats and posing for the camera help to sell the event as much as the actual race does.
So while we gear up for another grand Derby season, we insiders are as much a spectator as anyone outside of the headwear industry. We can only guess as to which styles, colors, and brands will adorn the stars heads. We will gaze at the beautiful large brims, and sinamay cloches, and revere in the waves of classic panama stingy brims and fedoras. When it is all over, we’ll go back to the drawing board and try to figure out what trends we predicted we would see, and where we missed the boat. We may even be inspired to go out and create a new masterpiece that will become next year’s millinery sensation. Either way, it all starts at the Derby.